Yes, it's another thread about math

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Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:53 pm

Do we need to have the "computational math is anti-pyramidal" discussion again, or can we just resurrect the old thread?
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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by dschafer » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:49 pm

styxman wrote:Do we need to have the "computational math is anti-pyramidal" discussion again, or can we just resurrect the old thread?
Oh, please don't have another one of these threads; computational math can be pyramidal or non-pyramidal, just like any other subject.
Athena Starwoman wrote:What's really sad is that after Rolla hosted NAQT state on IS-74 (a set that I thought had too much math, like, 3 tossups in some 20 tossup games) teams there openly complained that there was "way too little math." There are some things I'm OK with NAQT compromising on, but they really need to just ignore people saying math needs to be increased, I don't care what anyone says.
Why should we ignore those people? What is it about their opinion that makes it completely unworthy of any consideration? If we are ignoring people who want more math, shouldn't we also be ignoring people who (picking some completely hypothetical complaints) want less geography, or less math, or less current events, or more fine arts, or more mythology?
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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:54 pm

dschafer wrote:Why should we ignore those people? What is it about their opinion that makes it completely unworthy of any consideration? If we are ignoring people who want more math, shouldn't we also be ignoring people who (picking some completely hypothetical complaints) want less geography, or less math, or less current events, or more fine arts, or more mythology?
We should do whatever makes the packets more fair and more academic, irrespective of what people want, because it is in the interest of the vast majority of people in a competitive activity that names winners and losers to make the activity less fair and less academically rigorous. There have been a lot of weird justifications put forward for how math calculation might be the same thing as a pyramidal tossup on a fact in some hypothetical future, but I've never seen such a tossup actually exist. It's a test of how quickly you can do arithmetic, and always will be. It is not the same thing as any other subject, and it exists solely so that teams who don't know up from down in actual quizbowl can recruit their school's best math students and score some points. You might as well have a free-throw shooting contest for 10% of the available points.
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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:09 am

Matt Weiner wrote:There have been a lot of weird justifications put forward for how math calculation might be the same thing as a pyramidal tossup on a fact in some hypothetical future, but I've never seen such a tossup actually exist.
What about this thread on Pyramidal Math Tossups? They seemed to be well-received.

I also fail to see why math is not academic and doesn't merit at least part of the packet, albeit maybe not as much as NAQT gives it.
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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by dschafer » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:11 am

Matt Weiner wrote:
dschafer wrote:Why should we ignore those people? What is it about their opinion that makes it completely unworthy of any consideration? If we are ignoring people who want more math, shouldn't we also be ignoring people who (picking some completely hypothetical complaints) want less geography, or less math, or less current events, or more fine arts, or more mythology?
We should do whatever makes the packets more fair and more academic, irrespective of what people want, because it is in the interest of the vast majority of people in a competitive activity that names winners and losers to make the activity less fair and less academically rigorous. There have been a lot of weird justifications put forward for how math calculation might be the same thing as a pyramidal tossup on a fact in some hypothetical future, but I've never seen such a tossup actually exist. It's a test of how quickly you can do arithmetic, and always will be. It is not the same thing as any other subject, and it exists solely so that teams who don't know up from down in actual quizbowl can recruit their school's best math students and score some points. You might as well have a free-throw shooting contest for 10% of the available points.
I'll throw out, off the top of my head, two math calculation tossups, one of which I think is quite good, and one of which I think is not. Both were from old NAQT sets.

1. Effectively, find the area of an isosceles right triangle inscribed in a circle of area 4pi.
2. Effectively, find the age in years of a person 10000 days old.

Obviously, both of these questions had the usual explanatory sentence-or-two after the problem statement, then the FTP reiteration, but the above simplifies the problem down to its essence.

Tossup 1 is fantastic. The computations required are finding the square root of four, then multiplying two by two. That's it. The difficulty in the question is in figuring out how to actually solve the problem. This is a math computation tossup, but it does not, by any means, test who does arithmetic the fastest. This question is also pyramidal. The two math players (Palmer from Gov and myself) who heard this tossup in the game I was in both buzzed about a second after the area was given. I would suspect this question went until long after FTP in many of the other rooms, especially for those teams without someone strong in math. Is that not pyramidality?

Tossup 2 is (in my opinion) poor. It is a test of who can do long division the fastest. I suspect this tossup went at about the same spot in every single room it was played in, since I doubt long division speed differs that much from player to player.

If you are opposed to Tossup 2, I fully understand, but I personally see no flaw in Tossup 1.
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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:16 am

Because "figure it out" is bad in every other category, and math is no exception. It's an absurd double standard--I don't get to answer "figure out which primary sources are more reliable" questions, and changing them to "figure out which primary sources are more reliable given increasingly more relevant information" doesn't make them "pyramidal," it just makes a bad question into a long bad question.

Good quizbowl is about connecting facts to topics, not about doing things. If you think that makes it a poor substitute for a classroom education, you are 100% correct. Instead of making arbitrary concessions in one sub-sub-category to what people should be learning in class, let's leave math class to math class and let good quizbowl be good quizbowl.
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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by BuzzerZen » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:22 am

For the record, here is the 73-post thread that already happened. It doesn't need to happen again anytime soon.
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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by dschafer » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:48 am

Matt Weiner wrote:Because "figure it out" is bad in every other category, and math is no exception. It's an absurd double standard--I don't get to answer "figure out which primary sources are more reliable" questions, and changing them to "figure out which primary sources are more reliable given increasingly more relevant information" doesn't make them "pyramidal," it just makes a bad question into a long bad question.

Good quizbowl is about connecting facts to topics, not about doing things. If you think that makes it a poor substitute for a classroom education, you are 100% correct. Instead of making arbitrary concessions in one sub-sub-category to what people should be learning in class, let's leave math class to math class and let good quizbowl be good quizbowl.
This is an interesting point, and one I had not considered before. I'm not entirely convinced, however, that this differs on a fundamental level from all other types of pyramidal quiz bowl questions. When I hear Tossup 1, I think "Hypoteneuse must be the diameter, and I know it from there," just as on a lit question on an author, I think "Colonel Joll is from Waiting for the Barbarians, and I know it from there." The connection still has to be made, and both require high levels of knowledge to get the tossup early. Where do these two questions and thought processes differ?
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by BuzzerZen » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:19 am

As long as this thread exists, I should point out before "funn" is invoked that there are a great many people (like Dan Schafer) who find math computation to be fun. Funn, as I understand it, necessarily excludes anybody finding it to be fun.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by theMoMA » Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:35 am

This work's title is an anagram of "Add Louses." To find the name of this title, it might help to know that the second word is plural, five letters long, and starts the nineteenth letter of the alphabet, and that the first word starts with a "D." For 10 points, name this title that rhymes with "Bed Poles."
ANSWER: Dead Souls

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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:10 am

OK, something that tends to get ignored are people like me who know a lot of math theory and understand math well enough, but can't do the calculations. My teammate Grant for the most part can churn out answers to straight equations so he gets us a lot of calculation points, but I am always the one who answers the theoretical math, and often I can figure out what the problem wants you to do off the first line. However, Grant always beats me to math questions because I have no chance in hell of actually finding the answer in time even though I've done everythinng else that the tossup is supposed to reward. Does this mean I know less than Grant because I can't churn ou tthe answer even though I know everything else? I think not.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by dschafer » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:17 am

theMoMA wrote:This work's title is an anagram of "Add Louses." To find the name of this title, it might help to know that the second word is plural, five letters long, and starts the nineteenth letter of the alphabet, and that the first word starts with a "D." For 10 points, name this title that rhymes with "Bed Poles."
ANSWER: Dead Souls

Would you ever tolerate the above?
No, I would not tolerate the above. Anagram finding is not an academic subject. Math is.


Regarding "good at theory, not at computation", I would again direct you to Tossup 1. The only computation required is finding the square root of four and two times two. If you can figure out what the problem wants you to do on the first line, and the computations are simple, then you should be getting the points.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:25 am

Right, but you're making this assumption that everybody can figure out problems in their head in less than 10-15 seconds. That's not true, I can't at all, I need to use fingers to do basic arithmetic usually. But I can figure out how to do these problems, and how to set up the equations, often just as fast as the people who get the math, but they can find the answer faster without fail. That is why I will never be convinced that math computation truly tests knowledge.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:30 am

If you want to write a pyramidal tossup on the number four using the triangle thing as a clue, be my guest. I would have no problem letting that in as "math" in a no-calculation tournament I was editing. But don't pretend that's in any way what math calculation tossups are. You're never going to come up with 15-30 questions per tournament that find a new gimmick and avoid number crunching. The other major problem with math calculation, besides its disconnect from pyramidal tossup structure, is that there's really only a few dozen things you can ask about given length limits on questions and time limits on games. It's the smallest canon of any category, and essentially repeats the same few tricks in every set.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by quizbowllee » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:16 pm

Math in quiz bowl sucks.

I will post no more in this thread.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Saiem » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:33 pm

Matt Weiner wrote: You're never going to come up with 15-30 questions per tournament that find a new gimmick and avoid number crunching. The other major problem with math calculation, besides its disconnect from pyramidal tossup structure, is that there's really only a few dozen things you can ask about given length limits on questions and time limits on games. It's the smallest canon of any category, and essentially repeats the same few tricks in every set.
Not true. It is more challenging, but it is a forte that requires experience. And some non-stupidity from players. It boils down to a philosophy of "immediately plug in what i know" or "lets try to simplify things before i do some major computation"

Lets say there is a literature question about some obscure author that I haven't heard of. Does that question deserve to be in the tournament? Of course. Similarly, if there is a math question that I can solve that no one else can, does it deserve to be in there? Of course.

In almost every good math question (NAQT is not so great at this) the computation will take less than 10 seconds or however much the allotted time is. However, the question should be long enough such that it allows you to completely set up the problem before the question is over. It should also allow those that know what they're doing to set the question up faster, assuming equal computational speeds. Also, you act like computational speed is something that you are born with. How do you get better at computation? Practice, practice, practice. Sure, it isn't the most stimulating type of practice, but is all of quiz bowl really? I don't find learning about geography very fun, but I still do it because I want to get better at the game. Learning faster ways to get to an answer is pretty important in any aspect of the game.

The worst subtopic of math for computation is combinatorics/probability, which often gets pretty intense rather quickly. All the others can usually be simplified into something simpler. Computational ability often has to do with the depth of knowledge concerning numbers. http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Foru ... 7&start=30

Kind of an interesting blog post entitled: Number Theory and Calculation errors. Which is why people such as Palmer and myself rarely have to do "tough" calculation.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:41 pm

assuming equal computational speeds.
The reason why we are so frustrated at this is that you can't assume equal computation speeds.
Also, you act like computational speed is something that you are born with. How do you get better at computation? Practice, practice, practice.
Wrong, no matter how much I practice I will still never be able to get those math calculations done faster. And this isn't just me giving up, since I have tried to be able to answer math faster before.
Learning faster ways to get to an answer is pretty important in any aspect of the game.
OK, the problem with this is that the type of learning you do in every other subject is totally different then the ones you do in computation. On a good quizbowl set you buzz in earlier because you know how to link a concrete statement of fact to some other (usually concrete) thing: title-author, plot-novel, city-country, scientific application-scientific principle, I could do this forever. Matt made a very good point that math is the one subject here where that is not the case, instead it is solely an exercise in figuring it out. AT ANY LEVEL IN A TOSSUP, EVEN IF IT'S "PYRAMIDAL."

EDIT - I missed this:
Computational ability often has to do with the depth of knowledge concerning numbers.
That's a massive lie, and once people realize this then their ability to argue that we should have to compute in quizbowl will reduce drastically.
Last edited by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) on Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by quizbowllee » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:11 pm

I lied.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by dschafer » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:17 pm

Athena Starwoman wrote:
Computational ability often has to do with the depth of knowledge concerning numbers.
That's a massive lie, and once people realize this then their ability to argue that we should have to compute in quizbowl will reduce drastically.
That is not a massive lie. Consider calculating 996 * 1004. If you have good depth of knowledge concerning numbers, that calculation is very, very fast, and can be solved immediately in one's head. If you don't have that depth of knowledge, you're writing the problem down and doing a multiplication problem. This isn't even a good computation problem, and it already rewards those with better depth of knowledge. In a good computation problem, computational ability has everything to do with the depth of knowledge concerning numbers; if depth of knowledge concerning math is not the deciding factor in a tossup, it probably needs to be changed.
Matt Weiner wrote:If you want to write a pyramidal tossup on the number four using the triangle thing as a clue, be my guest. I would have no problem letting that in as "math" in a no-calculation tournament I was editing.
Consider this tossup:

Pencil and paper ready. This number is the area of an isosceles right triangle inscribed in a circle of area 4pi. It is also the area of an isosceles right triangle whose hypotenuse runs along the diameter of a circle of area 4pi. It is also the area of an isosceles right triangle with hypotenuse four, and it is the area of an isosceles right triangle whose legs have length \sqrt{8}. FTP, identify this number, which is equal to both \sqrt{8} squared divided by two, and eight divided by two.
answer: four

This is what the players should be hearing when they hear the full math computation tossup, as more and more information is given. Isn't this a pyramidal tossup on the number four? The clues get easier and easier, and have a giveaway; a person gets it as soon as they recognize a clue that allows them to connect it to an answer.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by theMoMA » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:53 pm

That question is fine and pyramidal, but that's not what most high school math tossups look like. The argument that I and others are advancing is that there is something fundamentally different between a good, academic, pyramidal tossup, and one that essentially restates the same question with further clarity three to four times. As long as you agree with that, and your questions conform to that, I have no no issues with your brand of computational math.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by dschafer » Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:31 pm

theMoMA wrote:That question is fine and pyramidal, but that's not what most high school math tossups look like. The argument that I and others are advancing is that there is something fundamentally different between a good, academic, pyramidal tossup, and one that essentially restates the same question with further clarity three to four times. As long as you agree with that, and your questions conform to that, I have no no issues with your brand of computational math.
The way I wrote that question, though, was writing what a player assimilating all of the information from a more standard math tossup should realize at a given time. The actual tossup would probably be:

Pencil and paper ready. A student wants to find the area of an isosceles right triangle inscribed in a circle of area 4pi. To do so, it helps to realize that the diagonal of a right triangle inscribed in the circle must be the diameter of the circle. Since the circle has area 4pi, it must have radius two, and thus diameter four. Hence, the diagonal of the triangle must have length four, allowing the length legs of the triangle to be found. FTP, find the area of this right triangle, whose legs both have length \sqrt{8}, given that the area of a triangle is base times height over two.
answer: four

Now, this looks more like a normal math computation tossup, but each sentence corresponds pretty well to the sentence in the modified tossup I posted earlier. I would thus think that this, too, is a pyramidal tossup, since the two contain the same information in the same order.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by DumbJaques » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:41 am

Lets say there is a literature question about some obscure author that I haven't heard of. Does that question deserve to be in the tournament? Of course. Similarly, if there is a math question that I can solve that no one else can, does it deserve to be in there? Of course.
Is this a joke?
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:48 am

DumbJaques wrote:
Lets say there is a literature question about some obscure author that I haven't heard of. Does that question deserve to be in the tournament? Of course. Similarly, if there is a math question that I can solve that no one else can, does it deserve to be in there? Of course.
Is this a joke?
I kinda share this opinion, except that I would be the one who couldn't answer the math question. While math is something I usually sigh and groan at everytime I hear those dreaded four words, it's a part of high school quiz bowl that deserves to be there.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by asdf » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:17 am

Easy Ways to Get Better at Math:
http://www.artofproblemsolving.com
Buy their books and read them
http://zetamac.com/arithmetic/
Best way to improve computation speed

Many players that are great at computation in high school were great in middle school because of MATHCOUNTS (http://www.mathcounts.org)
Maybe buying some books from them might help?

Also learning formulas is essential
You don't have to know why they work at first
but once you have memorized them you can investigate further and learn why they work

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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:20 pm

It certainly doesn't deserve more than 1/1 in a game, and frankly I think it would be best served being absorbed by science like it is in college and starting to ask more about theoretical stuff. That is an area of the canon that I think high school is behind in, but luckily more and more tournaments are starting to get rid of calculation, so hopefully it can expand soon.
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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by Tegan » Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:47 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:It's a test of how quickly you can do arithmetic, and always will be.
Unless the topic covers trigonometry....
or some advance algebra....
or calculus...
or trigonometry ...

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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:28 pm

Tegan wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:It's a test of how quickly you can do arithmetic, and always will be.
Unless the topic covers trigonometry....
or some advance algebra....
or calculus...
or trigonometry ...
SEMANTICS ALERT!!!
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by kCobain911 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 pm

Athena Starwoman wrote:
Tegan wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:It's a test of how quickly you can do arithmetic, and always will be.
Unless the topic covers trigonometry....
or some advance algebra....
or calculus...
or trigonometry ...
SEMANTICS ALERT!!!
It might be semantics, but its legitimate semantics. Anyone who can add and multiply etc fast enough can get arithmetic points, but there is usually a process to think about thats more complicated like L'Hospitals rule. I don't see the problem with giving a problem that uses L'Hospitals rules by first just giving the problem then explaining how to use the rule.
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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by Tegan » Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:53 am

Athena Starwoman wrote:SEMANTICS ALERT!!!
Oh, Charlie, Charlie Charlie .....

There is a world of difference between giving some very basic math problem that truly is a race to see who can crunch a number faster (which I agree is far from good quizbowl like any buzzer beater would be), and a question that gives information in such a way that permits a player with more advanced knowledge (not computation speed) to start first, with clues later on permitting less knowledgeable players to join in the computation as the clue reveals to them the knowledge to solve the problem.

I will also admit that just because a trig function is present in a problem, does not necessarily make the question "advanced". They have to be written carefully. It is possible to do this, and therefore I can't buy the arguments about restricting math, so long as it is written well.

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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Stat Boy » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:42 pm

Tegan wrote:There is a world of difference between giving some very basic math problem that truly is a race to see who can crunch a number faster (which I agree is far from good quizbowl like any buzzer beater would be), and a question that gives information in such a way that permits a player with more advanced knowledge (not computation speed) to start first, with clues later on permitting less knowledgeable players to join in the computation as the clue reveals to them the knowledge to solve the problem.
But on its most basic level, it still comes down to rewarding players for a skill they have. Sure, some math questions are better than others, but the only acceptable pyramidal math questions that I've ever seen were all more theoretical.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Saiem » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:03 pm

Just a quick note: I think that the speed of a question being read has far more effect than the actual subject matter. I don't have too many statistics to support it, but I personally read a couple rounds at our fall tournament, where there was 1 math tossup being read in each round (I don't know if that was the distribution, but thats what I picked up on). It was an NAQT set, and on the math questions in particular I read especially slow, pausing after each sentence. Each tossup was converted by one of the teams, which was nice. However, I noticed that in each of the other 4-5 matches going on only one or two other rooms converted the math tossups.

Round 1 that I read: 1 Converted (for power) in my room, 2 in the other rooms.
Round 2 that I read: 1 Converted in my room, 1 in the other rooms.
Round 3 that I read: 1 Converted (for power) in my room, 2 in the other rooms.

I'm not sure how significant this is, but I think it is a worthwhile thing to at least try. For those of you who are writing house tournaments or training moderators, add a note into the packets to read much slower. I'd like to see some statistics for that. I'm sure I will bring it up the next time I am moderating a tournament.

We all seem to agree (to varying extents) that there is a problem with computational math in quiz bowl. A 1/1 distribution is fine and good or even an additional one in either category to 2/1 or 1/2 would be alright. I think we have identified the problems with apyramidality, which allows new writers to help change that. We've seen examples (in this thread and past) that it is very possible to write pyramidal tossups.

Also, the math people have kind of pointed out that not all computation is fruitless. Learn some Number Theory. Like that is really the easiest way to get better at computation, if you have that much trouble with it. A great book by the same guy whose blog I linked earlier is the Introduction to Number Theory book by Mathew Crawford. It is produced by the Art of Problem Solving, which was linked a little bit after me. There is also the Introduction to Number Theory course that they offer, which I not-so-coincidentally help teach. So thats something.

I think alot of the timing issues can be resolved through some significant editing and reader training. If anyone is writing a house tournament with a computational math distribution, I would be pretty willing to help write/edit, as would many of the math people who posted on this thread.
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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:47 pm

Tegan wrote:They have to be written carefully. It is possible to do this, and therefore I can't buy the arguments about restricting math, so long as it is written well.
Well yeah, well-written questions are good. The actual issue is that the questions are, more often than not, neither well-written nor particularly pyramidal.
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Re: NAQT Subject Distribution

Post by dschafer » Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:36 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
Tegan wrote:They have to be written carefully. It is possible to do this, and therefore I can't buy the arguments about restricting math, so long as it is written well.
Well yeah, well-written questions are good. The actual issue is that the questions are, more often than not, neither well-written nor particularly pyramidal.
Having not played on HS math calc. questions in two years, I can't fairly discuss what the average question quality is now. However, if it is the quality of math questions that is the major issue, it seems discussion should be targeted towards increasing the quality of math calculation writing, rather than eliminating the entire subject.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by DumbJaques » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:13 am

I'm curious as to what teams thought about the complete absence of computational math at Weekend of Quizbowl.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by First Chairman » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:36 am

One caveat: there was ONE computational math question that I recall reading as part of a bonus part on the NAQT set. But that's it.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by btressler » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:09 pm

DumbJaques wrote:I'm curious as to what teams thought about the complete absence of computational math at Weekend of Quizbowl.
It was welcome.

(and this comes from students and a teacher at a math and science school)

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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Ford08 » Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:23 pm

Quiz bowl is about what you learn in school. Math is the most important thing you learn in school. Therefor it should be in QB. We have a guy on our team that is going to be a math teacher, he is a total robot at math and can do about any problem that you put infront of him, whether it be physics or basic math theory. So not rewarding him for his ability in math would be a shame and not right. Also pyramidal math is stupid. If they tell you what to do in the end any good math player will have the answer as soon as they give you what they need. Most of the time the pyramidal math is just somthing to make the match go longer, get to the point and let us solve the problem. I am in calc and trig, sure I know how to do pretty much everything in those subjects but should I get rewarded no, not because I don't know it but because someone is better than me. Also if you want to make the argument that you know most theoritical stuff, then get this our team is comprised of two athiests, one cathlic and one lutheran, and guess who gets all the religious stuff... yep the athiest.

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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:32 pm

Ford08 wrote:Quiz bowl is about what you learn in school. Math is the most important thing you learn in school. Therefor it should be in QB. We have a guy on our team that is going to be a math teacher, he is a total robot at math and can do about any problem that you put infront of him, whether it be physics or basic math theory. So not rewarding him for his ability in math would be a shame and not right. Also pyramidal math is stupid. If they tell you what to do in the end any good math player will have the answer as soon as they give you what they need. Most of the time the pyramidal math is just somthing to make the match go longer, get to the point and let us solve the problem. I am in calc and trig, sure I know how to do pretty much everything in those subjects but should I get rewarded no, not because I don't know it but because someone is better than me. Also if you want to make the argument that you know most theoritical stuff, then get this our team is comprised of two athiests, one cathlic and one lutheran, and guess who gets all the religious stuff... yep the athiest.
Being a "robot" at math is not something that can be learned, unlike most quiz bowl. You can always practice to get better at doing math quicker, but the one with the natural talent is always going to be a step ahead. That's why math should be pyramidal.

Not sure why the religious quesitons comment is there, but I, too, share the duty of being an atheist and getting most of questions on religion, especially Christianity.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Xerxes » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:15 pm

Ford08 wrote:Quiz bowl is about what you learn in school. Math is the most important thing you learn in school. Therefor it should be in QB.
What makes math the most important thing we learn in school?

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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:55 pm

It's kind of a shame that such a logical argument was invaded by stuff like
Ford08 wrote:Also pyramidal math is stupid.
and that, along with disregard for capitalization, must break some board rule.
Also,
Ford08 wrote:Quiz bowl is about what you learn in school.
is not entirely true. I take chorus in school and I can sing, but my sight-reading ability will never be tested in a quizbowl match, and shouldn't be. The definition of quizbowl may be somewhat debatable, but saying that its about what you learn in school is not accurate.

And finally, this:
Also if you want to make the argument that you know most theoritical stuff, then get this our team is comprised of two athiests, one cathlic and one lutheran, and guess who gets all the religious stuff... yep the athiest.
just doesn't make sense. Nobody would argue that the Catholic or Lutheran should get the religious stuff all the time. The one who's most knowledgeable about religion should get the religious stuff, and if that person's an atheist, it doesn't really matter.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:01 pm

Also if you want to make the argument that you know most theoritical stuff, then get this our team is comprised of two athiests, one cathlic and one lutheran, and guess who gets all the religious stuff... yep the athiest.
just doesn't make sense. Nobody would argue that the Catholic or Lutheran should get the religious stuff all the time. The one who's most knowledgeable about religion should get the religious stuff, and if that person's an atheist, it doesn't really matter.
I have to disagree. While the Christians shouldn't get the Bible questions ALL the time, I do think that they should be knowledgable enough about their religion to beat out someone who would read the Bible like they would any other work of literature and not like it's something they govern most of their life by (in the case of Catholics).
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:03 pm

FTP place a condom on this curved, yellow fruit.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:23 pm

I have to disagree. While the Christians shouldn't get the Bible questions ALL the time, I do think that they should be knowledgable enough about their religion to beat out someone who would read the Bible like they would any other work of literature and not like it's something they govern most of their life by (in the case of Catholics).
I don't really disagree with you, I just said that the most knowledgeable player should get the question, regardless of religion. The most knowledgeable player about the Bible would probably be the Christian, but all I'm saying is that if an atheist studies the Bible more than a Christian (that's a big if), he should obviously get the Bible questions faster.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:31 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:
I have to disagree. While the Christians shouldn't get the Bible questions ALL the time, I do think that they should be knowledgable enough about their religion to beat out someone who would read the Bible like they would any other work of literature and not like it's something they govern most of their life by (in the case of Catholics).
I don't really disagree with you, I just said that the most knowledgeable player should get the question, regardless of religion. The most knowledgeable player about the Bible would probably be the Christian, but all I'm saying is that if an atheist studies the Bible more than a Christian (that's a big if), he should obviously get the Bible questions faster.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:10 am

Ford08 wrote:Quiz bowl is about what you learn in school.
Counterpoint: No it isn't.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:26 am

Chad - I'll be honest, I either disagree or don't understand everything in your post. While I am too tired to get into the whole "math is inherently bad for quizbowl" thing, I do feel like pointing out that unless you are planning to go into a career involving a lot of math, then there is no way to argue that math is your most important class. If you are becoming a historian, then History is your most important class, and likewise if you are becoming an artist. To just declare something the most important class that everyone takes is a bunch of hooey. Also, while it has already been pointed out, your argument about "theoritical" stuff with the religion subject is also a load of hooey.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Ford08 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:00 am

woah, you guys took my post the way wrong way.

1. Math is important for everyone, why becasuse we all will use math later on in life, this is why we (our school) makes it mandatiory that every student takes a class about money. In this class you learn how to write checks, balance an account and do tons of other real world sceniaros. Math is taught more than in math class that is why it is important. Sorry if that makes no scence.

2. pyramidal math is stupid. Sorry but it is. Ok, what is the point of going through a bunch of crap when a good math player is going to get it off the meat anyway. Seriously having it so pyramidal that everyone has a shot is like handing out clues to future questions about art, ya its stupid. In pyramidal math they will pretty much give you the answer, and that is dumb.

3. Math theory is important because every person that studies history can have a shot. This is why it is important for a math guy to know his history in his subject as well. Also, I was just throwing this in to back up what charlies said, you see I can see the argument from both way.

4. The reason that I through in the Religous stuff is because just because you should know it that does not mean that you do. The Christians, Jewish, Muslim, and all the other SHOULD get every one of their questions.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:55 am

Ford08 wrote:2. pyramidal math is stupid. Sorry but it is. Ok, what is the point of going through a bunch of crap when a good math player is going to get it off the meat anyway. Seriously having it so pyramidal that everyone has a shot is like handing out clues to future questions about art, ya its stupid. In pyramidal math they will pretty much give you the answer, and that is dumb.
I think you agree with everyone else who's posted so far - "pyramidal" computation math is disliked because it is unlike any other subject when it comes to pyramidality. In other subjects you give a series of clues that ideally make it slowly easier for players to realize the answer. Asking the same question in different words three times does not make it pyramidal.

That being said, I will shoot a hole in your argument that "math is the most important subject" as, in my (somewhat limited) experience in the professional world, the ability to write is notably more useful than the ability to use mathematics with the exception of a few professions that are obviously math-based.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:50 pm

Ford08 wrote: 4. The reason that I through in the Religous stuff is because just because you should know it that does not mean that you do. The Christians, Jewish, Muslim, and all the other SHOULD get every one of their questions.
I'm not exactly an atheist so much as I am a-religious, but I routinely beat a Hindu teammate on Hinduism questions. Also, please learn to argue coherently (and spell) as that would make it easier to take you seriously and for your points to be understood. I'm confused as to how you're using that point because the two sentences seem to contradict each other. It seems like you're saying that someone who studies something more than others should get the question, which makes theoretical sense but is not actually true in every case. My best subject in school is history but it's really rare for me to get a history question.
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Re: Yes, it's another thread about math

Post by dschafer » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:54 pm

Ford08 wrote:2. pyramidal math is stupid. Sorry but it is. Ok, what is the point of going through a bunch of crap when a good math player is going to get it off the meat anyway. Seriously having it so pyramidal that everyone has a shot is like handing out clues to future questions about art, ya its stupid. In pyramidal math they will pretty much give you the answer, and that is dumb.
By the same token, why would a question on Coetzee have a clue other than "Colonel Joll is in a novel by this man." After all, why should we go "through a bunch of crap when a good lit player is going to get it off the meat anyway." Giving more and more information is what makes a math question pyramidal! Yes, a good math player will get it off the first clue, but this is the point of clue ordering; good players get the question early on.

Regarding the idea that people who are good at math are "naturally" good at math: I cannot disagree enough with this point. A good pyramidal math question rewards the player with more math knowledge. Two examples:
1. What is 996 * 1004?
2. What is cos(arcsin(1/3))?

Either one of those can be solved instantaneously by a good math player. Do you really think this is all "natural math skill?" Or is it maybe that the good math players have worked hard to learn math theory, and in doing so have become better at math? "Math skill" and "natural math skill" are two very different areas, and quiz bowl calculation questions should test the former, not the latter.

I agree that math is not the "most important subject", but it is clearly an academic subject, and is thus a reasonable area of knowledge to ask about in academic quiz bowl tournaments. If we can write pyramidal questions on math calculation, then I see no reason why math calculation should be completely excluded from quiz bowl distributions.
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